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Police crack down on drunk drivers leaving Del Mar racetrack

July 21, 2011 |  6:24 am

It was a big opening day at the Del Mar racetrack Wednesday: a record crowd (46,588), colorful hats on the women, fast horses on the track. A great start to the summer tradition.

It was big day, too, for a task force of police agencies determined to stop an unattractive piece of the tradition: race fans driving home drunk. Officers from nine agencies made 349 traffic stops and administered sobriety tests to 56 drivers.

The police effort led to 15 arrests for drunk driving, four for driving without a license, and two for drug possession. Also, 14 vehicles were impounded and 35 citations were issued for various traffic violations.

Officials said more enforcement is planned. The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has a warning for horse race fans: Along with picking your daily double, pick a designated driver.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

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